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ANSWERS TO COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS ON FIRE

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ANSWERS TO COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS ON FIRE Powered By Docstoc
					                                 Los Angeles County
                           Department of Regional Planning
                                  Planning for the Challenges Ahead
                                                                          Bruce W. McClendon, FAICP
                                                                                   Director of Planning


                 ANSWERS TO COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS ON
                     FIRE REBUILD/REPAIR REQUIREMENTS
      This document provides answers to commonly asked questions regarding the
      rebuild/repair process at the Department of Regional Planning (DRP) for properties
      damaged or destroyed during the recent Malibu Fire. DRP is committed to assist
      Malibu Fire victims through the permit process. Special circumstances that do not fit
      these general requirements will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

      1.    Where can I get planning information about rebuilding?

            Planner: Jarod Nygren               jnygren@planning.lacounty.gov
            Supervisor: Annie Lin               alin@planning.lacounty.gov
            Calabasas/Malibu Field Office       (818) 880-3799
            2660 Agoura road                    Fax: (818) 880-6279
            Calabasas, CA 91302

            Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday: 8:00 a.m. – 12 p.m., 1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
            Thursday: 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
            Effective January 2, 2008 public hours will be Monday - Thursday 7:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
            (Appointments can be scheduled on a case by case basis for customers that cannot
            come during scheduled hours )

            While the field office is intended to be a more convenient location for most
            property owners, you may also obtain information at our downtown office.

            Planner: Richard Claghorn                  rclaghorn@planning.lacounty.gov
            320 West Temple Street, Room 1360          (213) 974-6411
            Los Angeles, CA 90012                      Fax: (213) 680-9660

            Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday: 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
            Wednesday: 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

      2.    What planning applications are required to rebuild?

            To rebuild a single-family residence and/or guesthouse that was legally built and
            conforms with all current code requirements, the following Department of
            Regional Planning applications are required (see attached applications):

             A site plan review application ($923 fee). If the building does not conform
              with all current code requirements and any modification or variance is



320 West Temple Street ▪ Los Angeles, CA 90012 ▪ 213-974-6411 ▪ Fax: 213-626-0434 ▪ TDD: 213-617-2292
       requested, different applications and filing fees will be required. Please
       contact a planner for detailed information.
      The Local Agency Review Form (Approval in Concept for Coastal
       Commission).
      A Certificate of Compliance ($1520) for parcels that were not created by a
       legal subdivision and do not already have a recorded Certificate of
       Compliance.
      Environmental Review Board (ERB) review is required for properties within a
       sensitive environmental resource area, unless the proposal is only to replace
       destroyed structures that were legally built and comply with all applicable
       existing requirements, do not exceed either the floor area, height or bulk of
       the destroyed structures by more than 10 percent, and are sited in the same
       location (exemption pursuant to Section 22.44.130 and 22.56.2290 of the
       Zoning Code). For ERB review, an additional fee of $525 is required.

     To repair an existing legally built one-story structure, or to rebuild a non-habitable
     accessory structure such as a garage within the existing footprint, the following
     applications are required:

      A Zoning Conformance Review application ($171 fee) for projects that comply
       with all current code requirements. If the structure does not conform with all
       current code requirements or any modifications or variances are requested,
       different applications and filing fees shall be required. Please contact a
       planner for detailed information.
      The Local Agency Review Form (Approval in Concept for Coastal
       Commission).

     Please be aware that review and approval of your project will also be required by
     other local and State agencies, including the Department of Public Works,
     Department of Health Services, Fire Department, and California Coastal
     Commission. Please contact these agencies directly for additional information.

3.   How do I know if my property was created by a legal subdivision and whether a
     Certificate of Compliance (CoC) is required?

     The Department has identified affected properties that were not created by a
     subdivision (see attached map).         However, you must also review your
     Preliminary Title Report to verify whether a CoC has already been issued for your
     property. If not, then a CoC application is required.

4.   What are sensitive environmental resource areas and how do I know if my
     property is located within one?

     These are identified in the Malibu Land Use Plan as having sensitive
     environmental resources and projects within these areas must be evaluated for
     conformity with resource protection policies. The Department has prepared a
     map that depicts the location of all affected properties and sensitive

                                      Page 2 of 4
     environmental resource areas (see attached). Please refer to this map to
     determine whether ERB review applies to your project. You may also contact a
     planner for detailed verification.

5.   Am I required to build my home in compliance with current requirements?

     Yes, all structures must be built according to requirements in effect at the time of
     approval. Otherwise, a modification request, variance or other discretionary
     review may be required with additional applications and fees. In most cases, this
     will require a public hearing and/or notification to neighboring property owners.
     Please consult a planner for more details.

6.   What if the structure was illegally built or converted?

     Structures must be rebuilt or repaired to comply with all current requirements
     using the procedures set forth in Question 2.

7.   Can I rebuild/repair a nonconforming structure (a structure built lawfully but no
     longer permitted due to changes in the zone or zoning ordinance)?

      A nonconforming structure may be repaired provided the cost of
       reconstruction does not exceed 50% of its total market value and that the
       repair is started within one year of the date of damage.
      For repairs exceeding 50% of the market value or for complete rebuilds, you
       must obtain approval for the nonconforming structure via a discretionary
       process such as a modification request, variance, or nonconforming review.
       In most cases, this will require a public hearing and/or notification to
       neighboring roperty owners. Please consult a planner for more details.

8.   May I live in a temporary mobile home on my property while I rebuild?

     Yes, provided you have obtained appropriate agency approvals, including site
     plan approval and building permit issuance. The mobile home must be used as a
     residence by the owner during construction only while a building permit for the
     construction is in effect and provided that:
     1. The site plan demonstrates a reasonable, practical and economically feasible
         means of removing the mobile home following completion of construction; and
     2. The mobile home has a maximum of one dwelling unit, is a maximum width of
         12 feet and has no structural attachments; and
     3. The mobile home must be removed prior to the end of 12 months from the
         date of approval unless a conditional use permit has been obtained.

9.   How long do I have to rebuild?

      For conforming structures, there is no deadline to rebuild. However, site plan
       approvals are valid for two years, plus one additional year if a time extension
       has been filed before the plan expiration.

                                      Page 3 of 4
       For nonconforming structures with a maximum reconstruction cost of 50% of
        the total market value, the repair must start within one year of the date of
        damage.

10.   What information do you have regarding plans on file for existing structures on
      my property?

      The Department has conducted extensive research into existing plot plans and
      certificates of compliance for affected properties. Attached is a list and map
      identifying these files. The Department has collected these files to make them
      readily available for review at the Calabasas/Malibu Field Office.

11.   What happens if you do not have any plans on file for my property?

      If your rebuild/repair complies with all current requirements, having previous
      plans or records on file for your property is not necessary. You will be allowed to
      rebuild/repair in conformance with all current regulations. Otherwise, the
      Department will review existing Assessor’s records and Building Permits in order
      to make a case-by-case evaluation of your application.

12.   How can you assist me with my rebuild/repair project?

      DRP is committed to expedite applications to rebuild/repair structures damaged
      or destroyed by the Malibu fire. It is our intent to review site plan applications
      within two weeks. In addition, if you need more information or assistance, a
      planner will be happy to schedule an individual appointment with you to discuss
      the application process and requirements and answer any questions you may
      have.


NOTE:

The general information provided above may not reflect requirements for all
rebuild/repair projects. Please contact a planner for detailed information about your
specific case.

12/2007




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